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Joe Brummell #22 – Christmas Means Grooming

Christmas is a minefield when it comes to giving gifts – how much to spend, what to get, what to ask for – there are so many things that can go wrong. As a child you can write a list as long as your arm and parents roll their eyes at your charming naiveté! As an adult this doesn’t go down so well. If you don’t get what you want as a child the responsibility falls on the shoulders of a fictional character. For us grown ups, there’s no one to blame but ourselves for ill thought out gifts.  To give a grooming product as a gift is a very tricky business. Moisturiser says, “You look old! try this and see if it helps ease the ravages of time!”. The wrong fragrance might say “I love you, but you stink, for the love of God please try to mask your ‘natural’ odour with this”. A shaving kit? “I don’t love you enough to put up with all this chafing, it’s me or the whiskers…you choose”.  So in the true spirit of Christmas, here are some gifts that will definitely be a hit.

The Classic: A fragrance has to be one of the most popular gifts at Christmas time, every fragrance counter the length and breadth of the country is currently rammed with belligerent zombie-like shoppers. Nothing says “I don’t like you that much” than the hasty purchase of a generic designer branded scent. Fragrances are intensely personal and entirely subjective in appeal. If you’re looking for a scent to give to a dashing gentleman, then there is only one option Penhaligon’s Sartorial.  Verging on the avant-garde in concept, Sartorial is a rich and manly fragrance that smells entirely unique. Only buy it for someone you spend a lot of time with though– that way you get to smell it too.

The special treat: If someone you know has had a rough year, or maybe has a hectic lifestyle that doesn’t leave much time for grooming you can gently and with love force it upon them. A spa treatment is an excellent gift, and if you like you can book yourself in at the same time too– that way it’s guilt free! Cowshed’s Bullocks range of grooming products for men are only a taster of what they can do for you. Two new Cowshed Spa’s (one in Shoreditch House and one on Carnaby street) offer every service you could dream of. Facials, waxing, massages and reflexology, the choice is yours. Perfect for the man who has everything.

The shiny thing: For anyone with the aesthetic outlook of a magpie we have just the thing. Jewellery is a good gift because effectively it lasts forever – but it’s expensive and men’s jewellery is a contentious trend at best. They might want a shiny watch, but those are expensive and a little stuffy anyway. Cufflinks on the other hand may seem old fashioned, but a well-groomed man always needs cufflinks. Links of London have a snazzy moustache cufflink that’s just the right balance between quirky and sophisticated. A perfect stocking filler. Buy these for the best-dressed man you know.

- Warren Beckett



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